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Twins 6, Indians 3: Baseball doesn’t make any sense

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The Twins trounce Corey Kluber and start the series off strong.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians
“Dang it! Missed hands again.” “It’s all right, bro, next time.”
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a list of things that probably weren’t going to happen tonight:

  • Corey Kluber giving up two homers
  • Corey Kluber not pitching a quality start for the first time in 2018
  • Corey Kluber only lasting five innings
  • Corey Kluber walking Eduardo Escobar and breaking his month-long streak
  • Francisco Lindor going 0-for-5 and committing both a throwing and fielding error

Here’s a list of things that happened tonight:

  • Corey Kluber gave up two homers
  • Corey Kluber didn’t pitch a quality start for the first time in 2018
  • Corey Kluber only lasted five innings
  • Corey Kluber walked Eduardo Escobar and broke his month-long streak
  • Francisco Lindor went 0-for-5 and committed both a throwing and fielding error

Right from the get-go tonight, the Twins were on the ball. Eddie Rosario hit his 15th homer of the year in the first inning to get the scoring started. In the fourth, with men at first and second, Logan Morrison grounded into what looked like a 3-6-3 double play, until Lindor botched the “-3 double play” part and airmailed his throw past first. This allowed Rosario to score again, and put the Twins up by two.

Then it was Brian Dozier, launching his 10th dinger of the year over the high wall out in left, making it 4-0. That would eventually be enough for Terry Francona, who pulled Kluber after just five complete innings of work. It was the first time in 15 outings this year that Kluber wasn’t able to record a quality start.

Minnesota tacked on a couple more in a shoddily-played top of the sixth. First, another Lindor error scored another Ed, with Eduardo Escobar racing home on what should have been another double-play grounder. Later in the inning, Morrison scored when reliever Dan Otero balked prior to his delivery. Make it 6-0 Twins.

Cleveland would get one back in the home sixth, with a two-out single by Yan Gomes putting them on the board and tagging Kyle Gibson for his only earned run. But Gibby would return for the seventh, and ended his night with seven complete innings and just one run allowed on three hits. (He did walk four batters.)

Max Kepler notched the 20th assist of his career in the eighth, stopping Jose Ramirez from earning a double on a ball he smoked into the right field corner.

In the ninth, Taylor Rogers served up a deep, deep fly to center off the bat of Yan Gomes that allowed Cleveland to close the gap just a little bit. A pair of two-out hits, including another near-homer, brought the game to a 6-3 score and prompted Fernando Rodney’s addition to the box score.

Unfazed by the minor heart attack Rogers was trying to induce, Rodney got Lindor swinging to lock up the victory.

It’s an important win in the series opener, as the Twins have closed the gap to an even five back, and have gotten through the toughest mound opponent that Cleveland has to offer.

Joe Mauer also made his return in tonight’s game, though he went 0-for-4. This would normally be dud-worthy, but I’m gonna cut him some slack here, in his first game back after experiencing concussion-related symptoms again. (Plus, Twins win. No duds anyway.) Here’s to a better day tomorrow, Joe!

STUDS:

LF Eddie Rosario (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, HR)

2B Brian Dozier (1-for-4-, R, 3 RBI, HR)

SP Kyle Gibson (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)

DUDS:

NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!

ROBOT ROLL CALL: